The primary focus of this blog are the Millennium Development Goals and actions that are being taken to see them realized. Those actions include those both direct and indirect as well as those both online and 0n-the-ground. As I often do with blog posts, I am taking multiple perspectives with this issue to help develop a more global understanding.
One particular action that is being promoted by this blog is the Stand Up and Take Action event on 16 through 18 October 2009. This year there is also a focus on women's issues.
This year, Stand Up will once again provide an energetic, high impact platform for people to raise the profile of MDG- related issues relevant to their region, country or community. However, this year Stand Up will begin on October 16th, World Food Day, and on this one day the focus on food security and on hunger will be greater. As always, the policy demands will be determined at the national and local levels by participants. But in recognition of the fact that many of the MDGs directly linked to the status of women are not doing well, campaigners are encouraged to give this year’s Stand Up a clear focus on holding governments accountable for improving the status of women and their rights.
Despite some of my own recent doubts about online activism expressed in this blog and My Pathways to New Paradigms, I am again blogging about online actions. This time by Amnesty International USA, one in support again of Aung San Suu Kyi and the other in support of the International Violence Against Women Act. The words below are summarized from the Amnesty emails. As is my usual practice, I have added a few more links. I have also added two badges to the top of the right hand column. The irony of having Amnesty provide the post cards in light of the recent articles on slacktivism is not lost on me.
Time is running out. Vietnam will replace Thailand as chair of ASEAN at the end of next month. Critics have raised concerns that ASEAN's new human rights body will be toothless under Vietnam's leadership. We must ramp up our calls on Thailand to show leadership on human rights in Myanmar in order for it to make a difference in the remaining weeks of its chairmanship.
That's why we're calling on ASEAN to convene a meeting of the top brass in foreign affairs from all 10 member nations to come up with concrete measures to finally address the growing human rights crisis in Myanmar.
We're turning up the heat ourselves by calling on supporters to send 10,000 postcards – instead of emails – to the Thai government, which currently chairs ASEAN. (Don't worry – we'll send the postcard for you, so you don't have to buy postage, lick stamps or find a mailbox.)
Thank you for standing with us –
Jim, Nancy, Anil, Ulana and the rest of the Myanmar rapid response team
The United States could be doing more to combat rape in conflict, high rates of domestic violence around the world, human trafficking, and other forms of violence against women. President Obama and Vice President Biden championed I-VAWA as Senators. So we know that their support is there. They have been working with Senators Kerry and Lugar, who have promised to lead I-VAWA through the Senate.
- Young girls are being sold into unwanted marriages to pay their fathers' debts.
- Their sisters are raped by rebel bands as a tool of war.
- And their mothers are beaten by husbands in retribution for daring to seek basic education
But the comprehensive legislation that would make fighting violence against women a priority for US foreign policy and give the State Department Office for Global Women's Issues the force of law is still missing.
The Obama Administration has already taken historic measures this year to raise the issue of violence against women by:
- Creating a State Department Office for Global Women's Issues
- Appointing a White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, and
- Creating the White House Council on Women and Girls
But the bottom line is I-VAWA has still not been reintroduced.Sign our petition and share it with someone who supports women's human rights.
Betsy Wright Hawkings
Deputy Executive Director, Research & Policy
Amnesty International USA